Released on June 13, 2005, "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is the fourth single from Green Day's seventh studio album, American Idiot.
There was once much debate regarding the meaning of this song, one of the most common initial beliefs being that it was about the events of 9/11. In the liner notes, the song is dated September 10, and it is track 11 on the album. However, Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day's vocalist and guitarist, has confirmed that the song was written as a memorial to his father, a jazz musician and truck driver, who died of esophageal cancer in 1982 when Armstrong was only ten years old.
In this ballad, Armstrong revisits his painful childhood and thinks about the day he lost his innocence when his father died. Like many faced with such a traumatic event, he never truly recovered, and he cannot believe that twenty years have passed since that September day, thus the lyrics Like my father's come to pass, twenty years has gone so fast. Armstrong associates September with pain; he would rather not deal with anything related to the month, prompting him to sing Drenched in my pain again/ Becoming who we are"